Reynolds-Alberta Museum Annual Harvest Festival

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1914 16 HP M. Rumely, serial number 6795.
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68 HP Sawyer-Massey western ploughing engine belted up to Baker fan.
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Threshing at Reynolds-Alberta Museum, engineer's view.

72 Castleglen Way NE Calgary, Alberta T3J 1T3

Reynolds-Alberta Museum, Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada, held their
annual Harvest Festival September 2, 3 and 4, 2000. After a week of
mixed weather, the forecast called for breaking skies, but windy.
Leaving Calgary and heading north for the two and a half hour
drive, the clouds were getting lower and the rain steadier, but I
convinced myself and family that the next day would be different.
Wrong! The mist and rain started at noon and never let up until
Monday morning, but the show must go on!

1911 Nichols and Shepard 30-96 2 cylinder simple, serial #11205.
Note: scale 76 HP Sawyer Massey next to ‘Nick’ owner Ernie
Bertschi, Camrose, Alberta.

After attending a safety meeting and receiving operator
assignments, 1 met with Bill Hamilton and his wife Marjorie at the
rear of the 1911 Nichols and Shepard 30-96 HP 2-cylinder simple,
serial #11205, our engine for the weekend.

Also steaming up for the show were Ernie Bertschi and Perry
Widdifield on a 68 HP Sawyer-Massey, a western ploughing engine
built in 1922. As well, Stan Eichorn and Doug Sheppard had a 1914,
16 HP M. Rumely #6795 up to pressure. All these engines and bailers
are inspected and certified each year and carry ISO psi, so they
perform very well.

We have ploughed stubble with both ‘Nick’ and the Sawyer
with a 12 bottom John Deere plow, and the Rumely pulling a 28 inch
Wooden John Goodison separator. This year we were reduced to
boiling water two of the three days, but since ‘Nick’ has a
roof, we didn’t mind, and a regular run of hot coffee and fresh
baked cinnamon buns didn’t hurt either.

The crowds were steady all three days, and with the skies
breaking up on Monday, this allowed us to get to work. Ernie and
Perry put the Sawyer-Massey on the Baker fan, and the Rumely was
piped up to a stationary engine, center crank. We lined the Nichols
and Shepard up to the 28 inch McCormick-Deering separator and did a
threshing demonstration, using dry bundles that were brought out of
storage. On the second rack, tragedy hit. We had just started, when
it appeared that the separator was plugging up, the foreman calling
for more speed. ‘Nick’ was slowing down quickly, and by the
time the throttle was pulled, it stopped completely. The reverse
lever was stuck in threshing motion and would not move.

With a solid crowd around us, we searched for the source of the
problem to quickly fix it and resume threshing, as the safety was
already fluttering. As Bill was closing drafts, and injecting water
to try and cool it down, the source was discovered. This engine is
equipped with the Stephenson Link Reverse. One of the link brackets
had broken at what appeared to be either a bad casting or previous
older repair, bending one of the eccentric rods at 90 degrees. Stan
quickly had the Rumely chained up to our hitch, and pulled us out
of the way. As the Rumely pulled into the belt and continued the
threshing demonstration, we pulled the damaged parts off and took
them to the shop to be straightened. We finally managed to get
‘Nick’ moved over to a more suitable spot so it could be
repaired properly. Although we never did get to do any field work,
a good time was had by all that attended.

Next Harvest Festival will be held on Labour Day weekend,
September 1,2, and 3.

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